Skip to main content

James Madison (1809-1817)

Portrait, James Madison 

 

Father: James Madison
Mother: Nelly Conway Madison
Married: Dolley Payne Todd (1768-1849), on September 15, 1794
Children: None

Religion: Episcopalian
Education: Graduated from College of New Jersey (now Princeton University; 1771)
Occupation: Lawyer
Political Party: Democratic-Republican
Other Government Positions:

  • Member of Virginia Constitutional Convention, 1776
  • Member of Continental Congress, 1780-83
  • Member of Virginia Legislature, 1784-86
  • Member of Constitutional Convention, 1787
  • Member of U.S. House of Representatives, 1789-97
  • Secretary of State, 1801-09 (under Jefferson)

Presidential Salary: $25,000/year

Vice Presidents: George Clinton (1809-12); Elbridge Gerry (1813-14)

Cabinet:

Secretary of State
Robert Smith (1809-11)
James Monroe (1811-17)
Secretary of the Treasury
Albert Gallatin (1809-14)
George W. Campbell (1814)
Alexander J. Dallas (1814-16)
William H. Crawford (1816-17)
Secretary of War
William Eustis (1809-12)
John Armstrong (1813-14)
James Monroe (1814-15)
William H. Crawford (1815-16)
Attorney General
Caesar A. Rodney (1809-11)
William Pinkney (1812-14)
Richard Rush (1814-17)
Secretary of the Navy
Paul Hamilton (1809-12)
William Jones (1813-14)
Benjamin W. Crowninshield (1815-17)

Notable Events:

  • 1811
    • Madison allows 20-year charter of Bank of the United States to lapse.
    • William Henry Harrison fought Indians led by Chief Tecumseh at Tippecanoe, near Indianapolis, November 7.
  • 1812
    • War declared on England on June 18 after England continued to attack U.S. ships headed to France.
    • Madison reelected.
  • 1814
    • City of Washington captured and burned by British, August 24.
    • Francis Scott Key observed flag over Fort McHenry at Baltimore, September 14, inspiring him to write "The Star-Spangled Banner".
    • Treaty of Ghent ended War of 1812 on December 24, but fighting continued.
  • 1815
    • Andrew Jackson defeated British at New Orleans January 8, after war ended.
  • 1816
    • Second Bank of the United States chartered, April 10.

Points of Interest:

  • Madison was the first president who had prior service as a congressman.
  • Zachary Taylor and Madison were second cousins.
  • Madison was the first president to wear long trousers. All previous presidents wore knee breeches.
  • During the War of 1812 Madison was under enemy fire. He was the first president to be in that situation.
  • At 5 feet, 4 inches and less than 100 pounds, he was the shortest and lightest president.
  • Dolley Madison sent the first personal message using the Morse telegraph in 1844.

 Biographies: